Set up IPCMC, says Saifuddin

Lisa J. Ariffin
August 9, 2013

Setting up the IPCMC will improve the police force, says Umno Supreme Council member Saifuddin Abdullah.

PETALING JAYA: Umno Supreme Council member Saifuddin Abdullah has supported the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to oversee the police force.

The former Temerloh MP voiced his support for the commission as a response to the recent spike in shootings across the country.

He also dismissed former Malacca Chief Minister Ali Rustam’s claims that Pakatan Rakyat’s calls for the Emergency Ordinance (EO) to be repealed had resulted in a high number of shooting cases recently, as criminals were now free to roam the streets.

“I don’t think we can blame the opposition. They had no hand in the shooting incidents but we are concerned about strengthening the police force,” Saifuddin told FMT in an exclusive interview.

“I think we should have established the proposed IPCMC much earlier to improve police policies,” he added.

Saifuddin said it was still not too late to establish the IPCMC and hoped the government would set up the commission.

He predicted that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, who is also Finance Minister, would allocate a substantial amount to improve the police force in next year’s budget.

Don’t play blame game

Saifuddin said he did not agree with claims that the abolishment of the Internal Security Act (ISA) and EO had led to an increase in crime rate.

“The ISA was always misused to detain political rivals. I also don’t agree that if you let the crooks out under the EO, there will be more crime. Has it been proven?” he asked.

“If we say that, then there must be a suspect that you know, so just catch him.

“We have enough laws to arrest them. If it is hard to prove, then we can amend the criminal evidence law,” he added.

Saifuddin said the abolishing the ISA and EO was for the sake of democracy.

“We want to be more democratic and progressive. So in a democracy, detention without trial is viewed negatively,” he said.

Review government’s transformation programme

Saifuddin said there was a need to review the key performance indicator (KPI) of the Government Transformation Programme (GTP).

“Under the GTP, one of the NKRA (National Key Result Areas) is to reduce crime. We have to review its KPI because of the recent shooting incidents,” he said.

He praised the Rakan Cop initiative where the police worked with the community to reduce crime.

He acknowledged that there was a need to increase the number of police officers, but called on the public to take responsibility to reduce crime.

“Through these programmes, the public will understand the duty of a police officer, therefore their negative perception towards the police will change,” he said.

Putrajaya has persistently rejected calls to introduce the IPCMC as mooted in 2006 by a royal commission led by former Chief Justice Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah, arguing that a committee with such powers as proposed were “unconsititutional” and would seriously restrict the police in carrying out its duties.

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‘IPCMC consistent with constitution’